Saturday, October 22, 2011

Underground to the Western Wall

Tom Powers has posted today his experience in traveling through the drainage channel up from the City of David to the street below Robinson’s Arch. You’ll need to go there for the dozen photos and a step-by-step description, and I’ll encourage you to do that with a couple of sections from his conclusion:

MY TAKE on the experience:  It’s hard to see this underground route turning into a major tourist draw on the order of Hezekiah’s Tunnel. I see it being more for the hard-core afficionado (like me). For one thing, after the initial novelty of traversing an ancient sewer wears off, it gets a bit, well… tedious – it’s 650 meters from Siloam up to the Davidson exit!....

I anticipated entitling this post “Final Section…” but it turns out there is obviously more to come in terms of opening these underground spaces. First, where the present route makes its final jog to the east to run along the foundation courses of the Temple Mount, the cleared drain channel continues straight ahead, northward, but is still blocked/gated. However, a friend of mine (who shall remain nameless) said he found the way open a few weeks ago — and follwed it. He went quite a ways, he said, until there was no more lighting and he had to turn around; he estimated he might have been under the Western Wall prayer area....

I appreciate Tom’s careful work to allow all of us to “visit” this newly opened excavation in Jerusalem.

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